Tuesday 30 September 2008

What a lovely surprise

Postie's just been - and brought me a lovely surprise - a RAK from Annmarie, a regular on CBC who has become a local crafting buddy.

Thank you, Annmarie - much appreciated.

CBC ATCs: transport/travel

I'm scraping in at the last minute (apologies!) for the September ATC swap on CBC.

On the first one I've used a bicycle that I bought ages ago and have never found a use for it - the main problem was how to stick it on, so I resorted to ribbon to hold it. The background paper is BG cupcake:

I'm not sure what these papers are - I've had a set of them for a long while, but can't remember what they are - if anyone knows, I'd be interested:

Monday 29 September 2008

BF forum CJ

I have a few crafty things that need to be done this week, so this morning I got on with doing my DLO on Chris's lovely 'Seasons' CJ.

Chris asked us to show what we love or hate about the seasons. 'Show me your favourite seasonal photographs. Concentrate on just one or two or do all four, I really don't mind.'

For the left hand page I've used photos taken in our garden at various times of the year for the four seasons, but on the right hand page I've concentrated on the summer, particularly being by the sea.

Amazingly, this is something that I've got done before the deadline!

Sunday 28 September 2008

Blog candy winner

John's just drawn a name out of the bowl:

and the winner is:

Thank you for all the comments that have been left for me, not just on the blog candy thread, but generally - much appreciated.

It's time for some Blog Candy

As this post will be kept on top until Sunday 28 September, please scroll down for up to date posts - thank you.

I am fast approaching 20,000 hits since I installed sitemeter and to celebrate I'm offering some blog candy. In fact, I have now just gone over the 20,000 (on the morning of 19 September) - how on earth did that happen?!?!

Please feel free to tell others about this.

All you need to do to be in with a chance to win this is to leave a comment on this thread and please put a link on your blog to direct people here.

I want to say a big 'thank you' to everyone who has visited my blog and left comments in the past and to welcome anyone who is visiting for the first time. If you leave me a comment, then I'll come and have a look at your blog.

Sometime on Sunday evening, 28 September, I'll get John to draw a name out of the hat (well, it might not actually be a hat, but you get the idea!)

Oh, I nearly forgot - here is what you can win (and I might well add a few more bits and pieces):

Saturday 27 September 2008

A good day

A big THANK YOU to all who came along today - it was another successful event, raising £80 for Tearfund (i.e. 30% of the money taken - the rest goes towards the craft stuff needed to make the goodies - I don't seek to make any profit). I feel tired now, but it was well worth the effort.

Now today's over, I must make a list of other crafty things that need to be done, not forgetting the draw for the blog candy tomorrow - I'll get John to pick a winner tomorrow evening.

Friday 26 September 2008

DCM: king (or queen) for a day

It just so happened that I did a couple of cards the other day - very simple ones - that fit in with today's DCM dare.

I don't know why, but the scan has chopped one side a bit - the actual cards have a proper symmetrical pattern.

Boxes of notelets

Over the past few days I've made batches of notelets. Today I've made boxes using a template with my craft robo - the lids have acetate in them - a bit fiddly, but worth it for the end result. Some of the boxes have notelets of the same design and some are assorted:


Having done a calendar for my Salt challenge this time, I've made some more for tomorrow's TEAR Fund sale. I did a couple of each of the following (photos are not good because I'd already bagged the calendars so the light reflected):

Thursday 25 September 2008

More Christmas cards for Saturday

These are some cards that I did last night and finished off this morning:

I've made 85 of the following cards, to be sold in packs of 5. These are very simple, using strips cut from PM 'a wonderful Christmas time' papers. The silver and gold foiled vellums are some that I bought in bigger sheets ages ago from Lakeland and have never before found a way of using. I ran them all through my Xyron so that I didn't have to bother with brads.

I've managed to put all the inserts in, so all I need to do now is to bag and label them.

Clicking on pictures to see them bigger

Regular visitors to my blog will have realised that I've never got the hang of importing my pictures so that they can be enlarged when clicked on.

I've sorted it at last!! So now you can click on a picture and see it enlarged (only from now on, because I'm not going to backtrack!)

Salt: Pray continually

The Salt challenge for today was set by Ruth and this is what she says:

Prayer is the life line of a Christian, the powerhouse of the church, essential to growing in faith and relationship with the Lord.

As a busy mum it is easy to get through the day and have not bended my knee in prayer to the Lord. Throwing up prayers whilst washing up or walking to school sometimes has to be my lifeline and one aspect of praying continually.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

However I think this verse implies more, that we are not to give up praying. It's not a one off act, it should be part of every day of the rest of our lives.

Please make a project that might help you to pray or be a response to meditating on this theme.'

A couple of days ago I went over to see mum and on the way back popped into a local-ish shop to get a few craft bits (nothing wonderful, because they don't sell 'wonderful' - lol! - and I noticed at the till there were some of those little tab calendars for next year, so I bought some, thinking that if I have time (lol!) I'll make some calendars to try and sell on Saturday.

And then the thought emerged that I could do a calendar for the Salt theme - 'pray continually' is a good reminder on a calendar. Hopefully some people from church will come along on Saturday, so I'm thinking that I'll try and make a few more like this, but I'm keeping this one for myself.

Thanks for a great challenge, Ruth - and, of course, for the challenge that it is to me in my own personal prayerlife, which sadly can get squeezed out so easily, although I do find myself reflecting prayerfully in ordinary, every day circumstances, like when our walking or crafting.

The photo is one I found on the internet. The paper is from PDA and is mounted on chipboard, finished off on the back with a toning piece of card, with the addition of a ribbon to hang it and the calendar.

Please take a look at Salt and join in the challenge

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Play games and feed the world

This site was mentioned at church on Sunday - it is a place where you can play all kinds of games to improve your mental agility and for every answer you get right, twenty grains of rice are given to the world food programme to help eradicate hunger.

Simon (one of our church's ministers) also mentioned it on his blog, so I just had to have a look to see what it's about and I managed to clock up a total of 6,000 grains of rice - I don't suppose that's very much in weight, but, hey, every little helps.

Why not pop over there and donate some rice?

More cards for Saturday

I had a batch of cards half finished - today I've managed to finish them off and bag and label so they are all ready for Saturday. They are very easy cards from a kit.

Photos are dreadful (will replace tomorrow if light is better):

Monday 22 September 2008

Getting ready for Saturday

A few cards today to fill some of the gaps ready for Saturday:

I spent this morning making some Christmas cards from recycled cards. I'm very conscious that people can buy boxes of Christmas cards cheaply these days and so I try to make some for the TEAR Fund sale that are less expensive. I use good quality card and mounts and put inserts in them all, so that they are not 'cheap' cards, but more affordable than ones made from scratch. Perhaps I'll show some tomorrow - I've made about 80 of those so far.

Sunday 21 September 2008

Helpful blogger award

Claire has kindly given me this award. She said:

'I've designed this award which I will pass to bloggers who I think have helped me recently by inspiring me or actually helping me with my craft.

Today I'm going to award this to Maddy for her fabulous PG Tips challenge which I loved and has inspired me to tart more and Hazel for helping me make a concertina card.'

I am so taken aback - it was a pleasure to be able to share what I'd done.

I value the help of other bloggers and forum members and would like to pass this award on to Joanne, such a talented crafter who is always ready to share her expertise both on her blogs and within crafting forums - she so well deserves this.

Please do also have a browse on Claire and Maddy's blogs - very inspirational.

Saturday 20 September 2008

DCM: all mixed up again!

I wasn't happy with my card for this week's dare, but on the way back from London I bought a Crafts Beautiful magazine and there was a pack of die cut embellishments - among them was this one that I've added to my card:

I've tried to redeem myself a bit by making a card that is a bit more mixed up than the first one. This time I chose lilac/purple, with ribbons and a bow added (not normally seen on a man's card) - think I'll give up on this one now! At least it was a chance to play with another of my Cuttlebug embossing borders (and the ribbons hide the lines left from the embossing).


It's SPS on HS:MS today.

This is all that you're going to see of me today:

In a short while we're leaving to go up to St Thomas' hospital for my MRI scan, so someone's going to be seeing a lot more of me today than this!

Friday 19 September 2008

DCM: all mixed up

Tracie set this dare this week:

'This week's theme is All Mixed Up.
How come the majority of girls' cards are pink and flowery and the boys are blue and have absolutely no flowers at all?
What about cars for girls??? hmmm?
This week Tracie wants you to mix up those genders and create cards with a little bit of something not normally found for that sex.'

I don't think I've really mixed up enough, because I realise now that I used a predominantly blue colour scheme, which is usually stereotyped for a man's card, but I thought the addition of the cuttlebug embossing border with the flowers, inked with blue iris chalk pad, mixed it up a bit - mmm, I'm not convinced, but it was another excuse to play with a new embossing folder.

I'll try and do another card for this dare - perhaps a pink card for a man - got an idea for one.

JB September challenge 1: K.I.S.S.

NickyNoo set this challenge: ' know the saying, Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Well, here's a simple little mid-week challenge for you - make a card, any occasion, using 1 piece of patterned paper, 1 embellishment, and 1 sentiment.


I thought while I'd got the K & Co pads out I'd use a piece of Roam for the background. The sentiment and embellishment bits are Branda Pinnick, I think.

Thanks for a good challenge, Nicky. I think I need to make a few more of these.

JB September challenge 2: 15 minute template

On JB Bex has challenged us: 'Ok this is an easy one.
We are all pushed for time so this challenge you only have 15 minutes to produce a quick card for any occassion based on this very simple template.'

Spurred on by what Bex had done, I got out a pad of K & Co amy butler papers that I've had for ages and never used and used one for the background of my card. I used bits from two others from this pad and also a picture from a BF kit from Dream Street papers Hugs n Kisses - postmark. The turquoise strip was embossed with one of my new cuttlebug border folders that arrived this morning - a good opportunity to use it straight away:

Thanks for this challenge, Bex - that's another one in the box ready for next Saturday.

And I just about got it done in the 15 minutes.

Ruby Anniversary card: CBC 14 September challenge

I made this for a friend's anniversary - it didn't look this pink irl:

Thanks to Rachel, I now know that the challenge was set on CBC by Tracy:

' want you to make a card or LO or whatever you like, just as long as it includes a number on it'

BF Think Pink challenge 12:decorate a gift box or bag

On BF forum this week Di set this challenge for Think Pink:

'There are alot of people who simply hate wrapping presents so I thought it would be nice if we had some decorated boxes or gift bags to sell.

So you challenge this week is to Decorate a Gift Box or Bag in any theme you choose.

You can either use a plain gift bag and jazz it up or maybe even make your own.'

Well, I haven't actually decorated a box or a bag, but I've tarted up a tin which could be used to put a present in, or just to keep bits and bobs.

I started off with a tin that I got free with some Boots expert toiletries a while back (I've been wondering what to do with it, but was put off by the writing on the top):

I used alcohol inks (a mixture of stream and red pepper - the nearest I had to pink) on the lid:

and covered the inside with a piece of card (because the lettering was embossed all the way through):

I stuck a band of paper around the tin:

and then added a piece of ribbon around the paper (used Scotch vellum tape so that there was no adhesive showing), a piece of sticky gingham ribbon around the lip of the lid and blooms and big brads stuck on the lid to hide the embossed words:

Most of what was used was from a BF kit - some from the July kit and some from a TP one.

HS:MS enjoy

'To take delight or pleasure in an activity or occasion. Find something you enjoy in your space today.'

The first photo is a cheat - I didn't take it - and it was taken quite some time ago (you can tell that because I'm much slimmer!) - mum and I having enjoyed a share dessert:

The next one I did take, but a while ago while on holiday abroad. This is to show that you can ejoy a cuppa anywhere at any time:

Thursday 18 September 2008

Big Ben

I thought I'd show a picture I took this afternoon as we left St Thomas' hospital after John's eye appointment. I was just glad that my back is feeling a bit better and I was able to go with him - I hadn't been out for a week.

If you want to see a much, much better picture of Big Ben, then go to HS:MS and see Anita's fab photo.

Meanwhile, here's mine:

HS:MS big

'Of considerable size, extent or intensity. Show us something big in your space today!'

My first thought for this was 'big toe', my second thought was 'I'm not showing mine', but I found a willing victim:

I've amended this post to exclude the other picture because of a comment made. I realise that by doing this, anyone now looking will probably think it was much worse than it was - just a picture of John's foot with a block where the second toe was. It's a pity that the person who made the comment chose to remain anonymous.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

BF Think Pink challenge 7: tartography

At last I've done a couple of notebooks for BF Think Pink challenge 7: tartography.

I'd almost forgotten how to use my BIA!

The backgrounds of these notebooks are miscellaneous papers that were in my box (I think they were free with magazines). The backs are covered in the same papers and the insides have been covered with coordinating papers.

One for a lady:

One for a man:

Now I need to make some more for the TEAR Fund sale - I've already done a couple more, but not decorated them yet.

Nessy's blog candy

I came across Nessy's lovely blog from her comment left on the new BG challenge blog - she is offering some candy to celebrate her birthday:

Nessy said: 'so , to enter for my blog candy, all you need to do is :~ when you have created your girly card/or anything creative with some glitter on it (you know how i love my glitter) from now until the 28th of september, just leave a link to it on my blog and a link on your blog to mine telling everyone about my candy!! there is no need to make a card just for a chance to win some candy ~ just include any card you have made and you are showing on your blog!!'

So here is a birthday card and a Christmas card from me:

Quick way to make concertina zigzag cards

Claire was asking if I had a template for the concertina zigzag cards that I showed here:

I actually bought the ones that have a gingham pattern on them, but I made the four in the top picture.

Step 1: Take an A4 sheet and fold in four landscape:

Step 2: Fold the sheet as shown (if you want a longer bit on the first fold, just adjust the angle of the fold - this will just produce shorter cards:

Step 3: Cut along the crease:

Step 4: Fold each piece to make 2 concertina zigzag cards:

Step 5: Decorate however you wish. You can either then leave the card so that it fully opens, or stick down the zigzag bits so that it's just a simple opening card. I sometimes stick down the edges, that then leaves a pocket to take a tag.